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Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, and HIV Risk Behaviors Among a Community Sample of Black and Coloured South Africans

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 37 Issue: 3 Dated: Summer 2007 Pages: 489-502
Frank Y. Wong; Estina E. Thompson; Z. Jennifer Huang; Royce J. Park; Julia DiGangi; Jordana M. De Leon
Date Published
14 pages
This study examined the prevalence of drug use among 190 Black and 147 "Coloured" South Africans; the interrelationship among drug use, problem drinking, and HIV risk behavior; and whether and to what extent drug use influenced the likelihood of having unprotected sex.
The study found that both subsamples of South Africans were similarly likely to use at least one soft drug (34 percent compared with 40 percent). In addition Coloured South Africans were more likely than Black South Africans to use at least one hard drug (28.6 percent compared with 15.3 percent). Although Blacks were more likely than Coloureds to have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days (80.5 percent compared with 68.0 percent), there was no significant difference in the rate of problem drinking. Neither was there a difference between the two groups in HIV risk behaviors, including the use of alcohol or drugs immediately before sex, or condom use in the past 30 days. Alcohol use immediately before sex was the primary factor in having unprotected sex. Problem drinking and the use of soft drugs significantly increased the likelihood of using alcohol immediately before sex, which in turn increased the odds of not using a condom during sex. The self-administered questionnaire contained questions on demographics, substance use/abuse, sexual behavior risk, domestic violence, mental health, and exposure to violence. The primary dependent variable of interest was unprotected sex measured by condom usage. Independent variables were hard and soft drug use in the past 30 days and problem drinking, defined as having a score of two or more on the CAGE Alcohol Abuse Screener. 4 tables and 16 references